10/10/2014 04:05 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2014

Patrick Modiano: An Incredible Work, a Promise Fulfilled


In June 1967, Jean Cau recommended Patrick Modiano's first manuscript to us, Place de l'étoile, published shortly thereafter. "The young man who wrote it is 21 years old. And with his debut, he has produced a book which, in my opinion, is more than promising. I think you've got a writer of the present and the future."

To me, Patrick Modiano is the writer that represents literature in its finest expression, detached from trends, ideologies, and conformism. And he so admirably weaves this independent spirit into the story of a house adapted from his roots. His work, in another time and in different places, perpetuates Marcel Proust's quest of time and identity. His unique, continual approach is not unlike those taken by Simenon, Chandler, or Queneau in Un rude hiver.

For an editor like myself, this Nobel Prize is a tremendous encouragement for pursuing a catalogue policy. It rewards a reciprocal loyalty between the author and the editor.

Antoine Gallimard